# Play Dominoes to Cure Cabin Fever

On cold winter nights don't rely on TV to provide entertainment. Play dominoes.

| January/February 1979

• A running line with two cross pieces. Only the first cross (the fives) can spawn a new line of play.Ā
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• Two people is the right number to play dominoes with a basic set, although it could accommodate up to four.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• In this line of play the last player has scored five points (the three at the left end plus the two at the right end).
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• This line returns no score because the two ends (five and one) added together make six.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• Accumulated points are recorded using an elegant system of big and little X's, with each slanted stroke equaling five and a completed figure representing fifty. Five completed patterns (250 points) end a game.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• Doubletsāa piece with the same number of pips on each endāare played at right angles to the line of play Both sides of it count toward any possible score. The doublet on the right has a value of six, so the player scores six plus four, or 10 points.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• The game proceeds in a straight line first, and the cross piece no longer counts until its ends are brought into play. This move scores five points.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
• After one or both ends of the doublet have been brought into the game, suddenly there are three or four numbers to add up as possible points and thus bigger scores to be made. This move scores 20 points.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

When the snow piles up to the attic window and every night seems six weeks long, any activityāwork or playāthat can be shared with someone else takes on a special importance.

And, as most MOTHER EARTH NEWS-type people know, television isn't the only way to fill a quiet evening (in fact, TV rates somewhere below the bottom in most any list of entertainment possibilities). Games, for instance, have provided men and women with amusementāand a means of communicationā for centuries. Dominoes is one of the oldest table games around.

Although many people who learn to play dominoes as a child eventually discard the game, those speckled rectangles (called "bones" in domino lingo) can be used in some intricate and challenging contests. And a good domino gameāno matter how complexāwill never be so involved that it gets in the way of conversation. What more could you ask of a game?

## Choosing a Domino Set

Most any toy shop (and many department-type stores) carries domino games. The prices of these can range from about \$2.00 for a basic set of wooden bones up to a king's ransom for the hand-tooled outfits made of ivory. Most of the latter are unnecessarily fancy, but don't automatically eliminate the slightly more expensive dominoes when you go out to buy. The texture and weight of the playthings, and the tiny "click" you hear as each piece is played, are intrinsic to the mood of the game.

Domino sets are available in three varieties: double-six, double-nine, and double-twelve. These names indicate the maximum number of dots on one bone. The double-six set, with 28 pieces, is standard, but the larger games can make much of your playing more exciting. Start out with a cheap box of sixes, and thenāonce you're hookedāyou'll be ready for the big ones.

## Muggins, or Five-Point

Muggins is a good beginner's domino game (those who want to get adventurous should find a copy of The Domino Book by Fredrick Berndt, \$5.95 in hard cover from Thomas Nelson, Inc).

In fact, most people who've been exposed to the spotted blocks have encountered muggins in one of its many variations. However, few people today have tried the "formal" rules which make up muggins as our grandparents might have played it.

The difference between simple dominoes and all-out five-point shows up in the scoring. Though you do play by matching the number of dots (also called "pips") on a side of one of your bones to those on a domino already at an end of the "line of play" (the arrangementāon the playing tableāof those pieces already set down), you can only make points when the sum of the pips on the outside ends of the series adds up to a multiple of five. Ā

Play begins with all of the dominoes face down on the playing surface. Each contestant draws one, and the person holding the highest number of spots will begin the hand.

Once the bones used to determine the order of play have been returned to that group sitting spots-down on the table (this central store of dominoes is called a "bone pile"), the chosen player draws seven, then his opponent does the same (muggins is usually a two-person game, though four can play a short version if they limit the draw to five pieces each).

### Fermentation Frenzy!

#### September 12-13, 2019 Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

### Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional \$5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only \$12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay \$17.95 for 6 issues.